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Thread: Tascam Dr-40, Tascam DR-07MKII & Rode Videomic Pro

  1. #1
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    Default Tascam Dr-40, Tascam DR-07MKII & Rode Videomic Pro

    Hi, this past month I have been going crazy on what audio stuff I should buy for my camera. I am currently using a Nikon D5000 (I know its rubbish) until I get my new camera (Canon EOS 60D or 7D). I know I can't use a Rode VideoMic Pro direct for the Nikon D5000 cam as it has no headphone jack to plug it directly into. Could I get a Tascam dr-40 now and plug a Rode VideoMic pro straight into the Tascam for better audio to use with my D5000? Or would I require anything extra like cables for both of them to work together? I have seen people use a Rode VideoMic plugged into a Zoom H1 all over YouTube, but never any other combo's. Plus is the Tascam dr-40 good enough to use to capture audio without the Rode VideoMic Pro?

    I am very very new to audio (as you can tell) and I am only picking up on what I read online so any help you can give will be amazing and taken on board. If you have any suggestions, I need something for recording street singing, Poets and up and coming lyricists around London. All performances will be done on the spot so I won’t be recording from speakers or anything. Everything I will be doing is LIVE and of artists on the street. I would only be around 3-5 feet max away, maybe even less.

    Could you please please help me and tell me what my best bet would be

    Basically I am asking is…what would you do if you didn’t have a mic input on your camera and you want decent quality audio that you can carry over to your new cam?

    ps I see a lot of videos on the net similar to what I have been doing and 99% of the people just use a RodeMic plugged into their cam and still sounds pretty good.



    Thank You

  2. #2

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    Hi, I personally had this exact issue, but I'm running on a lower budget. I bought a Rode VideoMic (not the pro) and use a Tascam DR-07MKII. The combination of the two has been absolutely amazing - I get clear, crisp audio with real depth. I didn't do much research on the microphone, I picked it up for £69 at a camera show but I looked into the Tascam recorder carefully. I watched tonnes of YouTube videos with the many Tascam, Zoom and other brand's models being used to record.

    In my personal opinion, when being used to record through their line-in (which you can plug the VideoMic into directly without anything else), the Tascam models gave some of the best results; the only criticism being a little hiss in the background; I use the free 'Audacity' software to remove this noise completely effectively - you manually select a bit of the waveform with no sound (just the background noise) to give it a noise profile you apply to the whole track. Again, you may not feel you need to do this but I am quite fussy! The DR-07 MkII has different inbuilt microphones from the DR-40 so it's unfair to compare but I would give them a 7/10. It's nice to be able to swap the mic positions but they don't get the bass like the Rode does. In summary, I reckon I get broadcast quality audio from this relatively cheap setup - its absolutely fantastic and very sturdy.

    If I was in your position I would definitely buy the VideoMic or VideoMic Pro, you won't regret that - they are very directional which is perfect for the type of recording you are looking to do. I would then try to plug it into the camera directly if possible, if not I would look for an adapter (because audio recorded separately has to be lined up with the video which takes me time). If there is no adapter available, I would go for a Tascam recorder; if you are going to use it purely for recording the output from the Rode, I wouldn't spend the money on the Dr-40 because the line-in (although there are 4) give you the same recording quality as that on the DR-07MkII. I used the VideoMic + DR07MkII on and off in this video Engaging with Easter, ish - YouTube, for example when I'm sitting down at the end at 6:08 - this has been run through Audacity.

    Hopefully this helps, I am also very new to all this fun!

  3. #3
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    Whilst, as you can hear from Clemones' video, the Rode VidoeMic held close to the sound source is way ahead of an on camera mic (which you don't have anyway), it doesn't have many fans here.

    I was immediately disappointed in mine. The case is very plasticy and to my ears the recordings sound as if you can pick up the sound of the hollow tube - a bit "boxy". I also find the suspension system a real pain - it doesn't really isolate anythig but the smallest amount of movement (so moving between interviewee and interviewer is impractical) and the rubber bands themselves often "creak" introducing sound. I also experienced hiss when plugging into my but Zoom H2. I agree the hiss can easily be isolated and removed, but it's another step.

    It's not clear what you want to record, but the Tascam's pickup pattern is very different from that of the Rode VideoMic which is designed to be directional. I'm not familiar with the Tascam, but the Zoom H4n (which appears at first glance to be similar) plus a shotgun mic would be a good choice to cover all bases. I'd definitely go for a decent mic if you can afford it. The Sennheiser MK416 is a fairly standard "low end" short gun mic for general application. Check out also the Rode NTG2 or 3 (can't remember which - one is supposedly not very good) and the Audio Technica AT897. The modular Sennheiser K6 or K6P system is quite good as you can buy one capsule, but different bodies for different applications (a coupleof us here use the K6/ME66 combination.

    Unlike a camera, a good mic will last you a lifetime so spending a little more can be a good investment.
    Tim

  4. #4

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    You don't even have to spend that much more than you intended. I got a K6/ME66 off Ebay for about £100. I use it direct into my camera and into a Zoom H4n. It's very good (when used properly). I'm not sure a digi recorder alone like a Tascam or a Zoom on it's own will be right for what you intend doing but if you got it in close it could work well. Because of the pickup field of the internal mics on these things are a bit wide for recording some one on a busy street it would pick up a lot of background noise. BUT with sound recording of any sort there are a lot of variables to consider so I would always have more than one option to hand. I would even think about a Sure sm58 this has a shorter pickup field so could be right for a poet to hold and speak into in a street situation. It's hard to know what will work best without testing.

    Sorry if this is a vague answer.

  5. #5

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    I must say I do agree with the problems of the Rode videomic - the plastic enclosure is a bit of a pity and the rubber shock absorbers are worse than useless until you use a little vaseline; it was just the cheapest option at the time for a dramatic improvement in audio. I do also agree that you should spend as much as you can on your mic because you can use it forever.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    You don't even have to spend that much more than you intended. I got a K6/ME66 off Ebay for about £100.
    Midnight, I do think you were very lucky with this. I spent 6 months waiting to get one for £200 and I keep an eye on the prices as I think another would be good and I never see them go for under £200. I'm not saying they don't, just that you need to be very patient and I'd hate for readers to think they'll simply pick one up for £100 in a couple of weeks.
    Tim

  7. #7

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    Rembrandt Rob advised me on the mic and that day I went on Ebay and there was a couple, I missed the first but got the second. I can't remember the exact amount but I think it was £110. It was from a bloke in the Tower Hamlets, does that make a difference. Even the Google car won't go into some of those streets. Since I got mine I haven't looked or followed the prices if you say they go for around £200, then I guess I was really lucky for once.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    It was from a bloke in the Tower Hamlets, does that make a difference.
    Ah, I bought mine from a bloke who'd paid money for it. Explains a lot.
    (Ducks flames from inner city dwellers)
    Tim

  9. #9
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    I wonder that OP shouldn't tell us what he's recording that makes the internal D5000 mic "rubbish" - the camera audio can be used to sync an external recorder (Tascam/Zoom, etc)...although having a camera with a mic-input is peferable . . . the next issue OP will discover is the wretched AGC on most cameras . . . which can get in the way of serious audio.

    Switching to Canon might make some sense, but it means he'll need to build a new collection of lenses.

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